Islamabad: Pakistan’s supreme court dismissed on Wednesday an appeal by Sarabjit Singh seeking a review of a death sentence imposed on him for spying and carrying out bombings in the 1990s.
The rejection came even as relations between India and Pakistan inched towards improvement following a meeting last week between their leaders, the first since last year’s militant attack on Mumbai in which at least 183 people were killed.
Singh, was sentenced to death in 1991 for spying and bombings that killed 14 people. His family said he was innocent and had crossed the border into Pakistan accidentally in 1990 while he was drunk.
Pakistani officials said Singh was arrested while trying to slip back into India after the bomb blasts.
The government suspended his death sentence in May last year after his family visited Pakistan and appealed for a pardon.
Plea for help: A file photo of family members of Sarabjit Singh appealing to the Indian government seeking his release. PTI
But a three-member bench upheld the sentence, saying they had found no reason to reconsider the original ruling.
“There was nothing in the records of the case that could become a basis for reviewing the previous judgement. That’s why it has been dismissed,” justice Raja Fayyaz told the court, referring to the appeal.
Singh’s lawyer, Rana Abdul Hamid, failed to turn up in court and was not available for comment after the ruling. Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf rejected Singh’s mercy plea in March last year but deferred his execution after a request from the Indian government.